Science fiction and fantasy
by Stefen Fangmeier
What follows seems like a hasty run-through of all the usual genre clichés. After the strange stone turns out to be a dragon's egg that soon hatches, Eragon finds his life is in danger. The king sends Durza, a shade (in other words, some kind of demonic wizard), to kill him. Badly overacted by Robert Carlyle, Durza is one of the least nuanced fantasy villains since the Dark Lord Sauron.
Eragon has very little depth, but there's a feeling throughout that there is a whole different story that has been skimmed over and missed out. The relationship between the dragon Saphira (voiced by Rachel Weisz) and Eragon is hinted at but never really explored. Eragon is also helped out by Brom, played by Jeremy Irons, but again their friendship is only roughly sketched out. It's as though the director was too impatient to get to the magic and fighting to spend any time at all dwelling on the characters and their stories.
Fortunately the look of this movie is sumptuous, with plenty of CGI monsters, flashy costumes and epic sets. So some people will probably enjoy its visuals at least.
The ending is particularly full of melodrama, and the sort of heroic or tragic moments you can see coming for miles. One of the major problems of this film is having the distinct feeling that you've seen it all before: it's a traditional fantasy film that's good for entertaining anyone who is too young to recognise how derivative it all is. Anyone else will be disappointed.
If you like this, try:The Dragon Chronicles: Fire and Ice by Pitof
Dragons terrorise a kingdom and a princess searches for a hero in this traditional high fantasy.
The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep by Jay Russell
Adopting a pet rock isn't the safest of hobbies for boys who live on the shores of Loch Ness.
Dragon by Leigh Scott
A princess makes her way through a forest and past the perils of evil elves and a fire-breathing dragon.